I have many goals, and I have a friend with many goals hence we are goal oriented people. Us goal oriented people tend to have good conversations, so perhaps I should share a little. I am reconstructing this quote so bear with me, but she said, in essence “do what makes you happy; whatever makes you happy is worth doing.” She is saying that simply something is worth the while if and possibly only if it makes you happy – that is what matters. Simple? Yes, but very true as well…I think?
Authentic, or true happiness, although terribly hard if at all possible to actually define is sought after by (most, if not) everyone. However, this little thing deemed happiness is a rather peculiar…thing. How does one attain happiness? One might respond by “do what you love.” But how do you know what you love and if so how do you know it is true love and not a fleeting thing and so forth and so on. This question of happiness seems to have a duality as being quite simple and straightforward – at least in theory – while complex and challenging in practice. Now why is that? Is that even so? How do you or I know whether it is so? I could go on and on, but how do you know what you know anyway? (Rant coming?). Epistemology is a funny thing.
But still, should one follow her advice – do what makes you happy? Makes sense to me, I mean why not? But then I have also read that if happiness is your main or only goal, you will never quite attain it. And that seemed to make at least some sense too. Hmm, I really do not know – for sure anyway – but then again, who does?
So if I do not know, can I trust another human who claims to “know?” After all, what makes him or her so dang special? We are both human beings, no? I mean, philosophically speaking, people may spend lifetimes, and I would say often do, thinking about what would make then happy. But then, how many people chase those thoughts? How far do people, generally, go to reach that point of happiness?
I would, just casually thinking about it, do almost anything for authentic happiness. Of course, I would not kill or infringe upon others’ joy in the process but besides that, personally, I think I would do a whole lot to achieve a state of happiness.
But then, begs the question, is happiness truly the ultimate goal? Viktor Frankl says meaning is the ultimate goal worth seeking. Hmm, now that makes some good sense with me as well. Time will tell I suppose, but I do not like waiting all that much. Honestly, after reading “Man’s Search for Meaning” I concluded, at least for the time being, meaning should be on the top of the sought-after list. Meaning makes one whole, makes one feel good, and I think happiness stems from this foundation. But who knows, this is just a hunch. However, I do think treating happiness as a goal is doing it a great disservice. Maybe doing this with meaning is of similar regard.
To me, placing things like happiness or meaning on a priority list is, well, kinda silly. Yes, of course, they are noble goals to have, but I feel like treating them as such – goals – one is doing a disservice to some of the most amazing phenomena us humans may possibly experience! Yes, that is a rather bold statement, but true nonetheless. There is something very special about these types of things – which I also thing tend to be underrated, misrepresented and incorrectly used all too often.
Hmm, well there is some food for thought, sorry to end short but more to come, no worries!